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OWNER REVIEW - Life-Link Guide Ultra Light

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  • Heesoo Chung
    LIFE-LINK GUIDE ULTRA LIGHT BY HEESOO CHUNG OR November 16, 2007 TESTER INFORMATION NAME: Heesoo Chung EMAIL: chunghe2 (at) yahoo (dot) com AGE: 29 LOCATION:
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 17, 2007
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      LIFE-LINK GUIDE ULTRA LIGHT
      BY HEESOO CHUNG
      OR
      November 16, 2007

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Heesoo Chung
      EMAIL: chunghe2 (at) yahoo (dot) com
      AGE: 29
      LOCATION: Lenoir City, TN
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
      WEIGHT: 170 lb (77.10 kg)

      I started backpacking 14 years ago with the Boy
      Scouts. My backpack is currently on the lighter side
      (12lbs base weight) with the occasional luxury item
      thrown in (ex. a whole chocolate cake). I have done
      week long trips in Colorado and Montana using
      traditional methods (20lbs base weight). I have also
      done trips with a SUL pack (5lbs base weight). I
      recently moved from Colorado to Tennessee but I am
      still hoping to do some cold weather backpacking this
      winter.


      PRODUCT INFORMATION

      Manufacturer: Life-Link
      Year of Manufacture: 2004
      Manufacturer's Website: www.life-link.com
      MSRP: US$99.95
      Listed Weight: 14 oz (397 g) per pair
      Measured Weight: 16.5oz (468 g) per pair
      Other details:

      From manufacturer's website:

      " Lightweight foam grip with comfort strap
      Converts to an Avalanche probe 6'2" with probe
      extender
      Offered with optional self arrest Claw grip(s)
      Extends to 49" packs to 30"
      3.5" powder basket
      Carbon Fiber lowers for ultimate swing weight
      Replaceable Carbide Flex Tip"


      "Why do flex tips break?
      Our Flex Tips are meant to "break-away" in extreme
      situations. The Flex Tip can bend up to 35 degrees if
      itÂ’s caught between rocks. This break-away feature
      protects your oh-so-light carbon shafts. After such an
      event you'll want to replace worn or broken Flex
      Tips."


      FIELD USE

      The Life-Link Guide Ultra Light is a two piece
      adjustable hiking pole that has an aluminum upper
      section and a lower section made of carbon fiber. The
      grip is made of foam and comes with a removable wrist
      strap.

      The Guide Ultra Light is easily adjustable and has an
      agreeable swing weight. The grip and strap are
      comfortable and does not get saturated with sweat or
      get stinky. However, my preference would be a thinner
      strap.

      The carbon fiber lowers are much more durable than
      expected. The poles feel quite solid and dampen
      vibrations well. The poles are not excessively noisy.
      They do not produce any odd clacks, boings, or wumps.

      These poles have been with me for the last three
      years. I have used them for snowshoe trips in
      Colorado, the Appalachian Trail, and in the Sierras.
      Around the first thousand miles of use, one of the
      tips got caught in a rock and broke. According to the
      manufacturers website, the carbide flex tip is
      designed to break before the more expensive carbon
      fiber section. The replacement tips cost $10 for a
      pair and were easy to replace.

      Around two thousand miles of use, I was scrambling
      down some slick boulders when I got the bottom 18
      inches caught in a crevice. The carbon fiber lower
      broke cleanly at the point of failure. The aluminum
      upper section bent in such a way that the carbon
      fiber section no longer slid into the upper section.

      Unlike the hiking poles made by Leki, the Guide Ultra
      Light's locking mechanism is not easily removed. To
      clean the pole, one must insert the grip into a pot of
      boiling water. After a couple minutes, the heat will
      loosen up the grips so that they can be pulled off the
      pole. Once the grips are off, the locking mechanism
      can be removed and cleaned. Unless one hikes with a
      Boy Scout Troop with an eight quart pot, these poles
      are not easily field cleaned.

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION
      = "Locking Mechanism">>

      The benefit of having such a design is that if one has
      the optional probe extender, the two carbon fiber
      lower sections can be converted into an avalanche
      probe. I have not tried this in a snow field, but in
      the comfort of my home, it takes me about a minute
      longer to assemble than a dedicated probe.

      I have had the locking mechanism fail several times.
      In all instances, I had all my weight on one pole and
      that pole slowly began collapsing. The sliding of the
      locking mechanism was very slow and never resulted in
      a loss of balance. There were also times when the
      upper and lower sections would get stuck while I was
      trying to adjust the length. A gentle tap usually
      freed the sections. Cleaning the locking mechanism and
      the interior of the aluminum upper section usually
      fixed both problems.

      After I broke the carbon fiber lower section, and when
      cleaning the locking mechanism did not fix the sliding
      issues, I contacted Life-Link customer support. They
      promptly sent out a replacement pole for a small fee
      and sent replacement locking mechanisms under
      warranty.


      SUMMARY

      These poles are strong and reliable but cleaning the
      locking mechanism is a hassle.

      THINGS I LIKE

      Durable Two Section Design
      Good Customer Service
      Ease of Use


      THINGS I DON'T LIKE

      Difficult to field clean
      Strap is thick and bulky

      SIGNATURE

      Heesoo Chung



      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.


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    • Jamie D.
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 23, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner
        Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. Do
        not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our
        Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an
        official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response
        from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this
        timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben@....

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask
        that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our
        experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
        yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved
        and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews.
        This way we can work with you on addressing any standard BGT policy
        edits which you can incorporate into your second and subsequent
        reviews before submission.

        If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community!
        The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints,
        to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely
        manner. Once these first two Owner Reviews have been approved and
        you have submitted your Tester Agreement you will be eligible to
        start applying for Tests. If you'd like more assistance or guidance
        with the process you can request a mentor by sending an email to
        Jenn K., the mentor coordinator, at (jennksnowy AT yahoo.com).

        You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group.
        These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered
        carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your
        review. Incorporating member edits and re-submitting to the list
        will usually result in a better review, as well as making things
        easier for the official Editor. Please put REVISED in the subject
        line of your re-submitted review if you take this route or make any
        changes to your review BEFORE the review has been taken by an Edit
        Moderator.

        Additionally, it is important for you to monitor the Yahoo Groups
        list to keep track of the progress of your Owner Review. Once an
        Editor has taken your OR and made the necessary edits they will post
        their comments to the list with EDIT in the subject line. Once you
        have incorporated these edits into your review please use REPOST in
        the subject line. When your OR has been approved by the Editor they
        will use APPROVED in the subject line.

        If you'd like to keep track of the progress of your OR, the entire
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        If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via
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        Regards
        Jamie DeBenedetto
        Edit Administration Manager
      • edwardripleyduggan
        Hello Heesoo, This is a good first shot at an owner review. You have missed a few points, but I feel sure that you will quickly address these. Please don t
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 27, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Hello Heesoo,

          This is a good first shot at an owner review. You have missed a few
          points, but I feel sure that you will quickly address these. Please
          don't forget to provide metric conversions for all measurements (and
          to allow a space between measurement and unit for moth metric and
          imperial, thus "12 oz" rather than "12oz").

          Once corrected, I would like you to repost the text. The repost should
          go to this list, with "REPOST" substituted where "EDIT" is presently
          located in the message subject line.

          An HTML version would be helpful--please post on the BGT website. You
          will need to register or log on first, and upload to the TEST > OWNER
          REVIEW folder. Let me know if you have any problems with this.

          Best,

          Ted

          BGT OR Editor



          >
          >
          > LIFE-LINK GUIDE ULTRA LIGHT

          ### EDIT: add POLES to the end of this. The review title should always
          indicate the type of gear under review.

          > BY HEESOO CHUNG
          > OR

          ### EDIT: should be spelled out i.e. OWNER REVIEW

          > November 16, 2007
          >
          > TESTER INFORMATION
          >
          > NAME: Heesoo Chung
          > EMAIL: chunghe2 (at) yahoo (dot) com
          > AGE: 29
          > LOCATION: Lenoir City, TN
          > GENDER: M
          > HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
          > WEIGHT: 170 lb (77.10 kg)
          >
          > I started backpacking 14 years ago with the Boy
          > Scouts. My backpack is currently on the lighter side
          > (12lbs base weight)

          ### EDIT (12 lb) -- leave a space between number and unit. Also, a
          metric conversion is needed here. The reason we have these is that BGT
          has an international reader base (and a small percentage of the
          manufacturers who test with us are non-US).


          with the occasional luxury item
          > thrown in (ex. a whole chocolate cake). I have done
          > week long trips in Colorado and Montana using
          > traditional methods (20lbs base weight)

          ### EDIT: see note above


          . I have also
          > done trips with a SUL pack (5lbs

          ### EDIT: see note above


          base weight). I
          > recently moved from Colorado to Tennessee but I am
          > still hoping to do some cold weather backpacking this
          > winter.
          >
          >
          > PRODUCT INFORMATION
          >
          > Manufacturer: Life-Link
          > Year of Manufacture: 2004
          > Manufacturer's Website: www.life-link.com
          > MSRP: US$99.95
          > Listed Weight: 14 oz (397 g) per pair
          > Measured Weight: 16.5oz (468 g) per pair
          > Other details:
          >
          > From manufacturer's website:
          >
          > " Lightweight foam grip with comfort strap
          > Converts to an Avalanche probe 6'2" with probe
          > extender
          > Offered with optional self arrest Claw grip(s)
          > Extends to 49" packs to 30"
          > 3.5" powder basket
          > Carbon Fiber lowers for ultimate swing weight
          > Replaceable Carbide Flex Tip"
          >
          >
          > "Why do flex tips break?
          > Our Flex Tips are meant to "break-away" in extreme
          > situations. The Flex Tip can bend up to 35 degrees if
          > it's caught between rocks. This break-away feature
          > protects your oh-so-light carbon shafts. After such an
          > event you'll want to replace worn or broken Flex
          > Tips."

          ### EDIT: It's OK to quote the manufacturer's description as
          necessary, but we also need yours. You do touch on this very briefly
          under field use. The first paragraph there should really be part of
          the description.

          In a direct quote it's OK not to add metric conversions, but that's
          all the more reason to use your own description. This would confirm
          the manufacturer's claimed lengths, etc.




          >
          >
          > FIELD USE


          ### EDIT: Lacking here is an account of the range of conditions under
          which these have been used. This should include temperature range,
          terrain conditions (in the case of poles), weather, elevations etc.
          The idea is to provide the reader with a good sense of how the regimen
          under which you have used the poles matches their own use.
          >
          > The Life-Link Guide Ultra Light is a two piece
          > adjustable hiking pole that has an aluminum upper
          > section and a lower section made of carbon fiber. The
          > grip is made of foam and comes with a removable wrist
          > strap.
          >
          > The Guide Ultra Light is easily adjustable and has an
          > agreeable swing weight. The grip and strap are
          > comfortable and does not get saturated with sweat or
          > get stinky. However, my preference would be a thinner
          > strap.
          >
          > The carbon fiber lowers are much more durable than
          > expected. The poles feel quite solid and dampen
          > vibrations well. The poles are not excessively noisy.
          > They do not produce any odd clacks, boings, or wumps.
          >
          > These poles have been with me for the last three
          > years. I have used them for snowshoe trips in
          > Colorado, the Appalachian Trail, and in the Sierras.
          > Around the first thousand miles of use, one of the
          > tips got caught in a rock and broke. According to the
          > manufacturers website, the carbide flex tip is
          > designed to break before the more expensive carbon
          > fiber section. The replacement tips cost $10 for a
          > pair and were easy to replace.
          >
          > Around two thousand miles of use, I was scrambling
          > down some slick boulders when I got the bottom 18
          > inches caught in a crevice. The carbon fiber lower
          > broke cleanly at the point of failure. The aluminum
          > upper section bent in such a way that the carbon
          > fiber section no longer slid into the upper section.
          >
          > Unlike the hiking poles made by Leki,

          ### EDIT: Please exclude the mention of Leki. We avoid doing "shoot
          out" reviews, and while this is clearly not your intention here, the
          mention of another manufacturer confuses the issue. If you wish, you
          could write "Unlike some hiking poles from other manufacturers..."
          Overall, though, this is a very good point.

          the Guide Ultra
          > Light's locking mechanism is not easily removed. To
          > clean the pole, one must insert the grip into a pot of
          > boiling water. After a couple minutes, the heat will
          > loosen up the grips so that they can be pulled off the
          > pole. Once the grips are off, the locking mechanism
          > can be removed and cleaned. Unless one hikes with a
          > Boy Scout Troop with an eight quart pot, these poles
          > are not easily field cleaned.
          >
          > <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION
          > = "Locking Mechanism">>
          >
          > The benefit of having such a design is that if one has
          > the optional probe extender, the two carbon fiber
          > lower sections can be converted into an avalanche
          > probe. I have not tried this in a snow field, but in
          > the comfort of my home, it takes me about a minute
          > longer to assemble than a dedicated probe.
          >
          > I have had the locking mechanism fail several times.
          > In all instances, I had all my weight on one pole and
          > that pole slowly began collapsing. The sliding of the
          > locking mechanism was very slow and never resulted in
          > a loss of balance. There were also times when the
          > upper and lower sections would get stuck while I was
          > trying to adjust the length. A gentle tap usually
          > freed the sections. Cleaning the locking mechanism and
          > the interior of the aluminum upper section usually
          > fixed both problems.
          >
          > After I broke the carbon fiber lower section, and when
          > cleaning the locking mechanism did not fix the sliding
          > issues, I contacted Life-Link customer support. They
          > promptly sent out a replacement pole for a small fee
          > and sent replacement locking mechanisms under
          > warranty.
          >
          >
          > SUMMARY
          >
          > These poles are strong and reliable but cleaning the
          > locking mechanism is a hassle.
          >
          > THINGS I LIKE
          >
          > Durable Two Section Design
          > Good Customer Service
          > Ease of Use
          >
          >
          > THINGS I DON'T LIKE
          >
          > Difficult to field clean
          > Strap is thick and bulky
          >
          > SIGNATURE
          >
          > Heesoo Chung
          >
          >
          >
        • chunghe2
          Ted, Thanks for the comments. I have incorporated your edits and reposted the review here. The html version has been uploaded onto the BGT website. Let me know
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 29, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Ted,

            Thanks for the comments. I have incorporated your edits and reposted
            the review here. The html version has been uploaded onto the BGT
            website. Let me know if you have any additional suggestions.



            LIFE-LINK GUIDE ULTRA LIGHT POLES
            BY HEESOO CHUNG
            OWNER REVIEW
            November 27, 2007

            TESTER INFORMATION

            NAME: Heesoo Chung
            EMAIL: chunghe2 (at) yahoo (dot) com
            AGE: 29
            LOCATION: Lenoir City, TN
            GENDER: M
            HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
            WEIGHT: 170 lb (77.10 kg)

            I started backpacking 14 years ago with the Boy Scouts. My backpack
            is currently on the lighter side (12 lbs / 5.4 kg base weight) with
            the occasional luxury item thrown in (ex. a whole chocolate cake). I
            have done week long trips in Colorado and Montana using traditional
            methods (20 lbs / 9.1 kg base weight). I have also done trips with a
            SUL pack (5 lbs / 2.3 kg base weight). I recently moved from Colorado
            to Tennessee but I am still hoping to do some cold weather
            backpacking this winter.


            PRODUCT INFORMATION

            Manufacturer: Life-Link
            Year of Manufacture: 2004
            Manufacturer's Website: www.life-link.com
            MSRP: US$99.95
            Listed Weight: 14 oz (397 g) per pair
            Measured Weight: 16.5 oz (468 g) per pair
            Measured Extended Length: 48" (122 cm)
            Measured Packed Length: 30" (76 cm)

            The Life-Link Guide Ultra Light is a two piece adjustable hiking pole
            that has an aluminum upper section and a lower section made of carbon
            fiber. The grip is made of foam and comes with a removable wrist
            strap.


            FIELD USE

            These poles have been with me for the last three years. I have used
            them in mud, rain, snow, sand and scree. I have abused these poles
            on the rock and root filled Appalachian Trail, on snowshoe trips
            above the treeline in Colorado, and in the Sierras.

            The Guide Ultra Light is easily adjustable and has an agreeable swing
            weight. The grip and strap are comfortable and does not get saturated
            with sweat or get stinky. However, my preference would be a thinner
            strap.

            The carbon fiber lowers are much more durable than expected. The
            poles feel quite solid and dampen vibrations well. The poles are not
            excessively noisy. They do not produce any odd clacks, boings, or
            wumps.

            Around the first thousand miles of use, one of the tips got caught in
            a rock and broke. According to the manufacturers website, the carbide
            flex tip is designed to break before the more expensive carbon fiber
            section. The replacement tips cost $10 for a pair and were easy to
            replace.

            Around two thousand miles of use, I was scrambling down some slick
            boulders when I got the bottom 18 inches caught in a crevice. The
            carbon fiber lower broke cleanly at the point of failure. The
            aluminum upper section bent in such a way that the carbon fiber
            section no longer slid into the upper section.

            Unlike some other hiking poles, the Guide Ultra Light's locking
            mechanism is not easily removed. To clean the pole, one must insert
            the grip into a pot of boiling water. After a couple minutes, the
            heat will loosen up the grips so that they can be pulled off the
            pole. Once the grips are off, the locking mechanism can be removed
            and cleaned. Unless one hikes with a Boy Scout Troop with an eight
            quart pot, these poles are not easily field cleaned.

            <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Locking
            Mechanism">>

            The benefit of having such a design is that if one has the optional
            probe extender, the two carbon fiber lower sections can be converted
            into an avalanche probe. I have not tried this in a snow field, but
            in the comfort of my home, it takes me about a minute longer to
            assemble than a dedicated probe.

            I have had the locking mechanism fail several times. In all
            instances, I had all my weight on one pole and that pole slowly began
            collapsing. The sliding of the locking mechanism was very slow and
            never resulted in a loss of balance. There were also times when the
            upper and lower sections would get stuck while I was trying to adjust
            the length. A gentle tap usually freed the sections. Cleaning the
            locking mechanism and the interior of the aluminum upper section
            usually fixed both problems.

            After I broke the carbon fiber lower section, and when cleaning the
            locking mechanism did not fix the sliding issues, I contacted Life-
            Link customer support. They promptly sent out a replacement pole for
            a small fee and sent replacement locking mechanisms under warranty.


            SUMMARY

            These poles are strong and reliable but cleaning the locking
            mechanism is a hassle.

            THINGS I LIKE

            Durable Two Section Design
            Good Customer Service
            Ease of Use


            THINGS I DON'T LIKE

            Difficult to field clean
            Strap is thick and bulky

            SIGNATURE

            Heesoo Chung



            This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
            Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
          • edwardripleyduggan
            Thanks! Much improved, but I still need the field conditions section I mentioned. To pull an example from a recent pole review, this should read along the
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 1, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              Thanks! Much improved, but I still need the field conditions section I
              mentioned. To pull an example from a recent pole review, this should
              read along the following lines (just as a specimen--you don't have to
              follow this precisely, but temperatures, elevations etc. need to be
              included).

              "I have used the Expeditions on every snow related trip from early
              2004 until winter of 2006. This includes trips to Mount Shasta, White
              Mountain, Mount San Gorgonio and San Jacinto (and neighboring peaks)
              and many places in the eastern Sierra Nevada. Conditions have ranged
              from beautiful sunny winter days to a few full-on blizzards and
              everything in between. The temperatures encountered have run from a
              low of 4 F to 50 F (-16 to 10 C) and elevations to over 14000' (4270
              m). The terrain included snow, ice, rock and occasional bare dirt,
              though not often."--Ray Estrella

              You are close in your first paragraph of the field review, but it
              lacks specificity.

              Best,

              Ted


              --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "chunghe2" <chunghe2@...> wrote:
              >
              > Ted,
              >
              > Thanks for the comments. I have incorporated your edits and reposted
              > the review here. The html version has been uploaded onto the BGT
              > website. Let me know if you have any additional suggestions.
              >
              >
              >
              > LIFE-LINK GUIDE ULTRA LIGHT POLES
              > BY HEESOO CHUNG
              > OWNER REVIEW
              > November 27, 2007
              >
              > TESTER INFORMATION
              >
              > NAME: Heesoo Chung
              > EMAIL: chunghe2 (at) yahoo (dot) com
              > AGE: 29
              > LOCATION: Lenoir City, TN
              > GENDER: M
              > HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
              > WEIGHT: 170 lb (77.10 kg)
              >
              > I started backpacking 14 years ago with the Boy Scouts. My backpack
              > is currently on the lighter side (12 lbs / 5.4 kg base weight) with
              > the occasional luxury item thrown in (ex. a whole chocolate cake). I
              > have done week long trips in Colorado and Montana using traditional
              > methods (20 lbs / 9.1 kg base weight). I have also done trips with a
              > SUL pack (5 lbs / 2.3 kg base weight). I recently moved from Colorado
              > to Tennessee but I am still hoping to do some cold weather
              > backpacking this winter.
              >
              >
              > PRODUCT INFORMATION
              >
              > Manufacturer: Life-Link
              > Year of Manufacture: 2004
              > Manufacturer's Website: www.life-link.com
              > MSRP: US$99.95
              > Listed Weight: 14 oz (397 g) per pair
              > Measured Weight: 16.5 oz (468 g) per pair
              > Measured Extended Length: 48" (122 cm)
              > Measured Packed Length: 30" (76 cm)
              >
              > The Life-Link Guide Ultra Light is a two piece adjustable hiking pole
              > that has an aluminum upper section and a lower section made of carbon
              > fiber. The grip is made of foam and comes with a removable wrist
              > strap.
              >
              >
              > FIELD USE
              >
              > These poles have been with me for the last three years. I have used
              > them in mud, rain, snow, sand and scree. I have abused these poles
              > on the rock and root filled Appalachian Trail, on snowshoe trips
              > above the treeline in Colorado, and in the Sierras.
              >
              > The Guide Ultra Light is easily adjustable and has an agreeable swing
              > weight. The grip and strap are comfortable and does not get saturated
              > with sweat or get stinky. However, my preference would be a thinner
              > strap.
              >
              > The carbon fiber lowers are much more durable than expected. The
              > poles feel quite solid and dampen vibrations well. The poles are not
              > excessively noisy. They do not produce any odd clacks, boings, or
              > wumps.
              >
              > Around the first thousand miles of use, one of the tips got caught in
              > a rock and broke. According to the manufacturers website, the carbide
              > flex tip is designed to break before the more expensive carbon fiber
              > section. The replacement tips cost $10 for a pair and were easy to
              > replace.
              >
              > Around two thousand miles of use, I was scrambling down some slick
              > boulders when I got the bottom 18 inches caught in a crevice. The
              > carbon fiber lower broke cleanly at the point of failure. The
              > aluminum upper section bent in such a way that the carbon fiber
              > section no longer slid into the upper section.
              >
              > Unlike some other hiking poles, the Guide Ultra Light's locking
              > mechanism is not easily removed. To clean the pole, one must insert
              > the grip into a pot of boiling water. After a couple minutes, the
              > heat will loosen up the grips so that they can be pulled off the
              > pole. Once the grips are off, the locking mechanism can be removed
              > and cleaned. Unless one hikes with a Boy Scout Troop with an eight
              > quart pot, these poles are not easily field cleaned.
              >
              > <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Locking
              > Mechanism">>
              >
              > The benefit of having such a design is that if one has the optional
              > probe extender, the two carbon fiber lower sections can be converted
              > into an avalanche probe. I have not tried this in a snow field, but
              > in the comfort of my home, it takes me about a minute longer to
              > assemble than a dedicated probe.
              >
              > I have had the locking mechanism fail several times. In all
              > instances, I had all my weight on one pole and that pole slowly began
              > collapsing. The sliding of the locking mechanism was very slow and
              > never resulted in a loss of balance. There were also times when the
              > upper and lower sections would get stuck while I was trying to adjust
              > the length. A gentle tap usually freed the sections. Cleaning the
              > locking mechanism and the interior of the aluminum upper section
              > usually fixed both problems.
              >
              > After I broke the carbon fiber lower section, and when cleaning the
              > locking mechanism did not fix the sliding issues, I contacted Life-
              > Link customer support. They promptly sent out a replacement pole for
              > a small fee and sent replacement locking mechanisms under warranty.
              >
              >
              > SUMMARY
              >
              > These poles are strong and reliable but cleaning the locking
              > mechanism is a hassle.
              >
              > THINGS I LIKE
              >
              > Durable Two Section Design
              > Good Customer Service
              > Ease of Use
              >
              >
              > THINGS I DON'T LIKE
              >
              > Difficult to field clean
              > Strap is thick and bulky
              >
              > SIGNATURE
              >
              > Heesoo Chung
              >
              >
              >
              > This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
              > Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
              >
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